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Trentino, ‘Val di Non’: bears and hermits

Visit lake St Giustina, Lake Tovel and St Romedius hermitage

Our Slow Tour in Val di Non area, Trentino, starts at the Lake Saint Giustina, an artificial lake built to produce clean, hydroelectric energy.

Then we visit the beautiful Lake Tovel and we discover that across the entire territory of Adamello Brenta Park live around 40 or 50 brown bears! It is not so easy to meet them, they say (luckily!).

Then, let’s visit Saint Romedius hermitage where if you are athletic enough to climb to the small balcony on the roof, you will be blessed by a wonderful sight. From this hermitage you can see the ravine, a gorge that is like a canyon. Since we are here, let’s discover something about St Romedius life and spiritual path.

VIDEO FULL TEXT: Trentino: Bears and hermits

I am reminded of a song:
♫ That little bunch of flowers, that comes from the mountain
And take care it doesn’t get wet
Because I want to give it as a gift ♫
Look! How lovely!
This is Lake Saint Giustina, it’s an artificial lake.
They built a dam in 1958 for producing clean, hydroelectric energy.
We are investing a lot in alternative mobility.
There is a project for charging points for electric cars.
All those guests who stay in our hotels in Val di Non…
…are given the “Trentino Guest Card”
They can use it to travel free on all public transport.
And to recharge their electric car once.
For free? Fantastic!
So let’s go to these places, come on!
♫ That little bunch of flowers

We have arrived at Lake Tovel.
Goodness me, I never imagined it could be so beautiful.
I’d almost not want to be from here so I could look at it in a totally new light.
You’d almost not want to be Italian, so that you could say “How beautiful Italy is”!
“How wonderful it would be to relocate here!”
Good morning!
But are there bears here or not?
Of course. They number around 40 or 50, across the entire territory.
We are in the Adamello Brenta Park, the first in Europe to receive certification.
Irrespective of the bears, there is a nature here that is breath-taking to behold!
Shades of green which, until 1964, would change to red.
Apparently, it was down to the organic residue left behind by the cows that grazed in these parts.
This water originates from the melting snows high up in the mountains.
This is the best season for appreciating this really famous expanse of water.
Might it even be the season of love for bears, perhaps?
The brown bear is a very shy creature and is very difficult to find.
Have you spotted it at night, or during the day as well?
You need a stroke of luck.
And as luck would have it, we haven’t seen one single bear.

Here, look, the monk is waiting for us.
Good evening, I’m Father Bortolino.
I’m Maurizia (Syusy) and this is my daughter, Zoe.
Absolutely incredible, what a sight. What style is it?
It’s a coming together of Gothic with Trentino art.
Characterised by the height of the roofs as they flee skywards.
Let’s go up… but hang on a minute… how many steps are there?
There are 130 steps!
130?! Come on mother, you chose this route!
That’s true, perhaps I should have given it more thought.
You need to climb upwards to reach heaven.
So much effort, but it is worth it. Ever upwards!
From this hermitage you can see the ravine, a gorge that is like a canyon.
It forms the landscape.
And he, Saint Romedius, decided to live here.
Saint Romedius was a layman who decided to dedicate his life to the hermitage.
He decided to get away, to detach himself from the world.
We have to climb higher. There are some children’s bibs and hats.
…Giovanni, Ludovico…always with the teddy bears!
The route is scattered with all-female ex-votos.
Women who have difficulty in having babies pray to Saint Romedius.
When they do have one, they bring their ex-voto, as a mark of thanks to the Saint.
Where does this lead? It’s a veranda.
It looks like the bow of a ship!
From here we can see the bottom of the valley.
We’re at the height that the birds fly.
There are some crags that eventually create what could be described as roads.
With these really steep rocks that stop at a precise point.
The hermits had grasped a very important concept.
This feeling of solitude, of meditation…
…of staying away from the madding crowd.

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